uneven

adjective

un·​even ˌən-ˈē-vən How to pronounce uneven (audio)
1
a
archaic : unequal sense 1a
2
a
: not even : not level or smooth : rugged, ragged
large uneven teeth
uneven handwriting
b
: varying from the straight or parallel
c
: not uniform : irregular
uneven combustion
d
: varying in quality
an uneven performance
3
: unequal sense 3a
an uneven confrontation
unevenly adverb
unevenness noun
Choose the Right Synonym for uneven

rough, harsh, uneven, rugged, scabrous mean not smooth or even.

rough implies points, bristles, ridges, or projections on the surface.

a rough wooden board

harsh implies a surface or texture distinctly unpleasant to the touch.

a harsh fabric that chafes the skin

uneven implies a lack of uniformity in height, breadth, or quality.

an old house with uneven floors

rugged implies irregularity or roughness of land surface and connotes difficulty of travel.

a rugged landscape

scabrous implies scaliness or prickliness of surface.

a scabrous leaf

Examples of uneven in a Sentence

His breathing was shallow and uneven. You should check your car's tires often for signs of uneven wear. an uneven distribution of wealth We have an uneven number of players, so we'll have to rotate.
Recent Examples on the Web But quality can be uneven when products like delta-8 are being made anywhere from a lab-like facility to a seller’s basement. John Diedrich, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel | Ashley Okwuosa, The Examination | Amy Yurkanin, Al.com, Journal Sentinel, 18 Apr. 2024 Despite the uneven writing, the performances in Under the Bridge are consistently superb. Kristen Baldwin, EW.com, 17 Apr. 2024 Still, the momentum was a bit uneven and the crowd was hungry for the hits. Lily Moayeri, Variety, 11 Apr. 2024 Training in Ukrainian military units is often uneven at best, and those men who are drafted — rather than the ones who join voluntarily — are often assigned to the infantry. David Guttenfelder Thomas Gibbons-Neff, New York Times, 11 Apr. 2024 Despite the uneven distances, James was on fire from beyond the arc, shooting 7-of-9 from deep. Thomas Schlachter, CNN, 1 Apr. 2024 As Kelly explains, vestibular rehab exercises generally fall into three buckets: Balance training: This improves your steadiness in situations that are literally tripping you up—like walking on uneven ground or in the dark. Amy Norton, SELF, 29 Mar. 2024 On top of that, the formula was also efficient in targeting uneven skin textures and, ultimately, creating a smoother surface. Jessie Quinn, Peoplemag, 25 Mar. 2024 If the uneven balance does tilt in Then‘s favor, so be it. David Fear, Rolling Stone, 1 Apr. 2024

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'uneven.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Time Traveler
The first known use of uneven was before the 12th century

Dictionary Entries Near uneven

Cite this Entry

“Uneven.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/uneven. Accessed 22 Apr. 2024.

Kids Definition

uneven

adjective
un·​even ˌən-ˈē-vən How to pronounce uneven (audio)
ˈən-
1
: not even : not level or smooth : rugged, ragged
large uneven teeth
uneven handwriting
2
: varying from the straight or parallel
3
: not constant : irregular
uneven earnings
4
: varying in quality
an uneven performance
unevenly adverb
unevenness noun

More from Merriam-Webster on uneven

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!